Games aren't cheap and on the flip side, it can be difficult for developers to make a profit, what with such huge budgets.
In so many ways, smaller downloadable games (which aren't anywhere near as small and simple as they were at the start of the generation), are refreshing. And designers are starting to notice the appeal. Supergiant Games went for digital distribution with their first game, the well-received Bastion , and writer and level designer Greg Kasavin extolled the benefits of that approach:
"Many of us used to work on retail games. Amir, Gavin, and I met while working on the Command &Conquer franchise for Electronic Arts, and Andrew worked at Infinity Ward on Modern Warfare and its sequel. So we’ve been there before. I’d be foolish to say it’s something I’d never want to do again under any circumstances, because once in a while there’s a truly amazing retail game that’s like nothing else out there. But we deliberately left making retail games in favor of making downloadable games because we saw more exciting opportunities here. We can work faster to make our own games, make the kinds of creative choices that would never be permissible at a large studio, and ultimately provide a better value to players out there — folks have remarked that Bastion has the quality and scope of a full retail title, but it’s available for just a fraction of the cost."
It's certainly true that in terms of value, digital games are starting to make their presences felt. Some of the very best experiences can be found in the downloadable realm; they're often unique, too. Games like Flower , Limbo , echochrome , Joe Danger , the PixelJunk series, and now Bastion have proven their excellent worth. Who wants to bet Journey will be another can't-miss "little" adventure?
There are other options out there, and not all of them require the standard $60 investment.